I hear his alarm sound, and again after he clicks snooze. I usually roll over into a head-full of wild bed hair, of some little person who has decided to sneak in and share my pillow.
I doze in and out of light sleep, as I hear him and his morning routine. Breakfast, quiet, footsteps on the wood floors, the front door click closed, rattling cement dust from his boots on the front deck.
When his car leaves I stare at the face (or faces) of the ones I'm left with as they sleep.
I'm thankful. And if I'm not, I thank Him anyway. For the day. For everything.
Sometimes daddy's noises rouse them from their sleep, and they snuggle.
Other times, if I'm lucky, I can tiptoe out of the bedroom, avoiding that one squeaky floorboard, and make my way over to the stove.
I don't let the kettle boil all the way, everything I do is slow, hushed.
They're light sleepers.
Once they're awake it's noisy, and they talk over one another, they repeat what they've already asked for, for breakfast as if I haven't heard. I love their squinty sleepy eyes, and their crazy hair.
We talk about what they're excited for that day, what classes they'll have, and the hope that they'll pass spelling tests.
There is always someone who can't find shoes, or socks, or clean school uniforms, even with detailed instructions as to their whereabouts.
And there is always a three year old who returns from the bedroom with an inappropriate and mis-matched outfit to model.
The biggest decision is whether they'll take their bikes or their scooters. Eden will waits for Joel to make his choice and follow suit. I bark orders and questions like, "have you got your hat?" and "don't forget your reading folder".
I always miss them after I leave them at school, even though Amie keeps me company, and the space is filled with her endless chatter all the way home, and her demands for yoghurt, and her lists of which friend she would like to come for a visit. I walk home praying quietly, thanking God for His protection over their hearts and minds. Trusting Him to be their Joy.
Our days vary, my littlest and I.
Sometimes they're slow, and filled with tinkering about the house, laundry and Playschool.
Maybe we'll bake a cake, ready for afternoon tea.
Other days are more fast paced, with a long list of places to go, errands to run, and friends to visit.
Some days 3pm and school pick up time can't come soon enough, and others feel like I need another 6 hours to accomplish all that I need.
Each night I slide into bed, exhausted.
Always with something to look forward to the next day.
Even if it's just a face full of wild hair on my pillow.